On April 9th Disney’s ABC Chairman Dana Walden stated at a panel that the company has been passing on some “well-written scripts” that did not meet the company’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative that was put into place last year.
She stated during the recent panel “I will tell you for the first time we received some incredibly well-written scripts that did not satisfy our standards in terms of inclusion, and we passed on them.”
The following “rules” were put into effect as part of the guidelines:
- 50% or More of Regular and Recurring Written Characters come from Underrepresented Groups
- 50% or More of Regular and Recurring Actors come from Underrepresented Groups
- Secondary Characters: Meaningful inclusion of Underrepresented Groups as Secondary or More Minor On-Screen Individuals, Including Background Characters
- Series Premise: Meaningful integration of Underrepresented Groups in Overall Themes and Narratives
- Episodic Storytelling: Ongoing Meaningful integration of Underrepresented Groups episodic themes and Narratives
With this recent news that Disney will be passing on scripts that don’t meet their standards, even well-written ones, not only does it make the company unappealing to potential writers and directors, but may have them skip Disney and move on to other Studios like Skydance Animation or Netflix for more creative freedom.
Not to mention the difficulty of having to alter your stories to fit the new “guidelines,” and I put guidelines in quotes because guidelines are different than “rules.”
With the recent situation with Idris Elba being told that he wasn’t “black enough” on the successful BBC drama series “Luther,” it makes you wonder if in this new “Diversity Initiative” that they might accidentally stereotype certain groups of people.
Similarly to how Disney Films from the 1950s and 1960s are now deemed “offensive,” it’s possible that these current products may be viewed as offensive in the future.
Dana Walden is still only the head of ABC, Disney’s television branch, but these policies may already be in effect at their Film and Animation divisions as well.
[Source: Fox Business]
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